Article Discussion # 2

“In-Your-Pocket” and “On-the-Fly:”

Meeting the Needs of

Today’s New Generation of

Online Learners with Mobile

Learning Technology

One of the first thing that stood out to me while reading the article

http://www.aupress.ca/books/120146/ebook/08_Anderson_2008-Theory_and_Practice_of_Online_Learning.pdf

was the age of the article. Many of the mobile devices that the article made reference to and the pictures where dated. That made me, think how far have we have come with being able to deliver learning through the medium of mobile devices since that article was written in 2008. In short, a long way I  think.

Today’s mobile devices have the power and abilities that would have been the envy of most laptops 10 years ago. I remember once reading that the computing power of today’s mobile phones is greater than that of the computers used to first take man to the moon!!! That’s pretty wild isn’t it? That in my pocket right now is a tool that is powerful enough to get a man to the moon and here I am wasting it on angry birds and boom beach.

So today technological innovation and software ability, check. I think the other reason we have come a long way towards online learning and mobile learning is the overall change in the mindset to how we learn. The ability of educational institutes to take a step away from the antiquated lecture halls and offer the information and learning in alternative delivery modes. The article stated “Technology is merely a tool that may or may not support the various learning activities that are available, as part of one’s individualized approach to learning, for selection from a cafeteria-style array of learning services.” I have spoken about the very same thing in my earlier blogs that the tech is just a tool that allows access to learning and that it is not a substitute for teaching.

One thing that I truly like about online and mobile learning is the freedom that it provides the student. How it can help overcome some of the social, economic and geographical berries that sometime stand in the way of a student’s education. I strongly believe that education should not be limited to those who can afford the high price tag attached to a full time, on campus living education, that may be thousands of miles away from home. This is the true value of distance learning/ mobile learning in my mind.

The article also spoke about the gen X, like technology we have kept moving forward and are now trying to teach the gen Z’s. The new issue isn’t about how do we adapt to online learning or mobile learning, the new problem is how do we get them to look up from the things. It could be said that this is a social problem not just a generational on. Again the article quoted

educators today must not only prepare students for future careers, but also prepare students for the “real world,”

Again, I have mentioned this before. I see our role as not only providing students with an education but to prepare them for the real world. This is especially true when I look at my own instructional topics. I try to tell students that you’re not always going to be able to “google it” that you can’t always post or blog a question. You are going to have to make a decision based on what you have in front of you, and live with the choice you have made. There are no span points or second chances in the real world sometimes.

I kind of got off track there.  To end I’d like to reiterate that eLearning, mobile learning, distance or online learning should always just be the tool to learning and never a substitute for an educator.

Dave E

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